August 15, 2009

Practice Notebook: Aggies wrap first two-a-day

Texas A&M had its first two-a-day practice Saturday with a morning session in full pads on the Coolidge Practice Fields and an afternoon session in shells in the McFerrin Athletic Center, which was the first time the Aggies had gone indoors in August camp. For most programs, the first two-a-day usually brings fatigue, laziness or a general apathy especially after a week of practice.

It certainly has in the past at A&M. But this year was much different, leaving A&M head coach Mike Sherman almost giddy in his post-practice press briefing.

"I hate to put a jinx on it but this was the best two-a-day practice we've had since I've been here. The guys really came out to work. They had fun out here and competed. It wasn't drudgery. They came out with the right mindset. If they do that then each day we chip away at it we're going to get a little bit better, and today we got better," Sherman said. "I really liked it. I thought we really got better today and made a big step. The guys came out with a lot of enthusiasm and really tried to execute their assignments. We had a lot of good scrimmage time, so today was a good day for the Aggies."

One reason why the Aggies may have had such a good response to the first two-a-day of fall camp is because the A&M coaching staff put its team through two-a-days in the spring. With only three hours of practice time a day in spring drills available, the Aggies split things up and had two hour-and-a-half sessions over the course of spring drills each day.

"I don't think they would agree with that, but I think the fact that they have gone out a number of times in the spring time twice a day this is not as difficult for them," Sherman said.

A&M has gone through a number of first over the past couple of days - first day in full pads Friday, first two-a-day Saturday - and will have another first Sunday when the Aggies will have their first scrimmage of fall camp at Kyle Field at 10:30a.m.

Sherman said he will treat it like a preseason game where he and the coaching staff will be able to gauge where certain players are in their development and start figuring out which young players can help them this season.

"Hopefully we'll have some good execution. Obviously we're going to be taking a look, it's like a preseason game for me and we're going to be taking a look at a lot of young players and put people in positions to see if they can rise above their chronological age and experience and see if they can help our football team," Sherman said. "We're going to be looking at a lot of young kids and how they can help us. I'm sure they're going to be making a ton of mistakes, but we just want to see effort and toughness and a desire tomorrow from these guys. I hope the experienced guys play like that and the inexperienced guys show us some promise of what they can do for us down the road."

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